From Messenger to Slingshot to Paper to Rooms: How successful are Facebook’s new apps?

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Facebook attracts more than a billion mobile users each month and 66 percent of its revenues come from this channel. In fact, mobile users spend 20 percent of their mobile time on Facebook!

Facebook’s success on mobile, whether from the point of view of the audience size or monetization, is unparalleled.

Instagram and WhatsApp (acquired respectively in April 2012 and February 2014) are two other social apps also with phenomenal audience success, although several notches below. They’re not profit centers yet and will not be discussed here.

What about the blue giant’s mobile diversification strategy beyond the main app and purchased successes?

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How likely are you to tap a Facebook mobile ad?

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Facebook, as has been said myriad times, is a mobile company. Mobile advertising is a cornerstone of the company’s revenue, so Spongecell wanted to find out how often and why people engage with mobile ads on the site.

Spongecell found that 75 percent of Americans polled who are on social media and would interact with an ad said they are most likely to do so with a mobile ad on Facebook. Additionally, 33 percent of Facebook users polled who saw advertisements relevant to them said they’d go to the brand’s website for more information or to make a purchase.

Spongecell CEO Ben Kartzman discussed the need for relevant, targeted advertising on Facebook and other social channels:

It’s clear personalized ads are effective in driving consumer engagement. Marketers need to embrace dynamic creative technology, such as the kind Spongecell offers, to give consumers what they want, when they want it. With dynamic creative, advertisers can deliver personalized content to consumers, creating a more engaging ad experience and more impactful brand campaigns.

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Facebook Groups app launches on iOS, Android

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long talked about Facebook Groups being the next big point for innovation within the company. It looks like that time comes today, as Facebook Creative Labs announced a new app for iOS and Android users, Facebook Groups.

With the Facebook Groups app, users can see and post in their groups, as well as easily create new groups.

Facebook Product Manager Shirley Sun described the app in a blog post:

People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends.

Today, we’re introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life. We built this app with the people who use Groups the most in mind, like:

  • Students from Donda’s House, an arts nonprofit in Chicago, who use groups to stay in touch during and after a 12-week music program
  • A class of dental students in Brazil who use a group to post notes and reminders about upcoming tests and due dates
  • Nine best friends spread out across Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and England who use a group to keep connected

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Facebook Messenger hits 500M user milestone

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Facebook Messenger — the standalone app where Facebook users check messages — has hit 500 million monthly active users, the company announced Monday.

The controversial app, which was attacked for confusingly-worded and scary-sounding permissions, launched in 2011 and has grown considerably. Nearly half of Facebook’s 1.35 billion users now have the Messenger app on their phone.

Facebook’s Peter Martinazzi, Director of Product Management, wrote a Newsroom post about Messenger’s newest milestone:

Today more than 500 million people are using Messenger each month and we’re more committed than ever to make it the best possible messaging experience.

Messenger was the first of our standalone apps, and unlike our core Facebook apps, it focused on one use case – messaging. With Messenger, you can reach people instantly. It is just as fast as SMS but gives you the ability to express yourself in ways that SMS can’t. You can send stickers or videos, take selfies, chat with groups and make free calls. We’ve also continued to improve speed and reliability. Updates to Messenger ship every two weeks so it continues to evolve and improve.

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When should you start holiday Facebook ad campaigns? Now

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If you’re just starting to think about your holiday Facebook ad campaign, you may be too late. Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode shows that taking an early, proactive approach to targeting shoppers for the holidays can give advertisers the best bang for their buck.

SocialCode found that the CPM of News Feed advertising is at its lowest of the holiday season in late October/early November, steadily rising until its peak on Black Friday (for desktop) and, for mobile, Cyber Monday.

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How does Facebook classify Android devices? By year

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While Android has imaginative names for their operating systems, such as Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, that’s not how Facebook engineers classify Android devices.

In a blog post, Facebook’s Chris Marra and Daniel Weaver explains how Facebook optimizes its experience on Android by breaking up devices by year:

We call this new concept “year class” – essentially, in what year would a given device have been considered “high end” in? This allows teams around the company to segment the breadth of Android devices into a more understandable set of buckets, and as new phones are released, they’re automatically mapped into the representative year. For example, the Alcatel T-Pop I bought at a market in Mexico is immediately recognized as a 2010-class phone, despite its 2012 release. Overall, about two-thirds of the phones connected to Facebook are equivalent to something released in 2011 or earlier.

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Could brands find a space in Facebook’s Rooms?

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Recently, Facebook unveiled its latest mobile app (for iOS) — Rooms. It’s the rumored “anonymous,” app, where users can have their own name or whatever screen name they choose.

But is there any space in Facebook’s Rooms for a branded experience? Could Nike launch a room dedicated to running — and should they? We talked with Lawrence Mak, the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Facebook Marketing Partner Adobe Social, about the marketing implications of Facebook’s newest app.

Adobe studied the social sentiment around the then-unnamed anonymous Facebook app, showing that people were largely neutral, but more people had a negative reaction (25 percent) to the app before launch than positive (8 percent). Measuring sentiment post-launch, an overwhelming amount of reaction has been neutral (92 percent).

As many people figure out the best way to use Rooms, others are wondering if there’s room for companies and brands in this new app.

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Does the cost of Facebook’s mobile advertising outweigh the ROI?

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Mobile advertising was the star of Facebook’s Q3 earnings call, as 66 percent of the company’s advertising revenue comes away from desktop. The shift to mobile is a major trend industry-wide, according to a recent study by mobile-focused Facebook Marketing Partner Ampush.

Ampush studied the cost of mobile advertising on Facebook and Twitter, finding that while it is getting more costly to advertise to mobile users — it’s highly effective. Ampush’s study combined Facebook and Twitter. In Q3 2014, Ampush — which recently announced a new look, as well as 185 percent year-over-year growth — discovered that mobile ad spend on the two platforms is up 233 percent year-over-year. Mobile app installs have also gotten a little more expensive, as the average cost per install (CPI) has grown 29 percent year-over-year, but it’s a little more even-keel.

Inside Facebook talked with Ampush CMO and Co-Founder Chris Amos about the growth of mobile advertising on Facebook.

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3 things we learned from Facebook’s Q3 performance

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Facebook, yet again, posted arguably its best quarter ever, reaping $3.2 billion in revenue in Q3, with 66 percent of their ad revenue coming from mobile. Facebook now has 1.35 billion users (1.12 billion on mobile).

But is the best for Facebook still to come? Here’s what we learned from Facebook’s quarterly earnings call on Tuesday.

1. Facebook thinks it can fix digital advertising

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg knows that there’s still a gap between how people interact with advertising (on mobile) and how advertisers still prefer to deliver messages (display and desktop).

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Facebook in Q3 2014 in charts: $3.2B in revenue, 1.35B users

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How important is mobile for Facebook? Mobile advertising now accounts for 66 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue, according to Q3 figures announced by the company today.

Facebook posted its most successful quarter to date, in terms of revenue. The social network reaped $3.2 billion in revenue this past quarter, beating Q2 totals ($2.91 billion).

Other key figures:

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 864 million on average for September 2014, an increase of 19 percent year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 703 million on average for September 2014, an increase of 39 percent year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.35 billion as of September 30, 2014, an increase of 14 percent year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.12 billion as of September 30, 2014, an increase of 29 percent year-over-year.

More key stats and facts from Facebook’s Q3 can be found below.

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